Plane Spotting at RAF Valley on Anglesey
Royal Air Force Valley is the United Kingdoms station for providing advanced fast-jet flying training. If you love aviation and military aircraft then RAF Valley should have something for you! As well as our Hawk T2’s we have visiting aircraft and helicopters. The “Spotters” car park is near the end of the runway, across the road from the main gate and provides a great viewing opportunity.
A few of the visiting aircraft you might see are the residential Griffin helicopters coming and going, almost on a daily basis, also at Valley we get visiting Tornado’s from RAF Marham, Typhoons from Coningsby, and we quite often get F15’s visit as well. The Red Arrows can usually visit a couple of times a year too!
RAF Valley - Fast Jet Training Station
Royal Air Force Valley is the current home to No 4 Flying Training School (FTS) which takes RAF and Royal Navy pilots from No 1 Flight Training School (1FTS) at RAF Linton-on-Ouse and trains them to fly today’s modern fast jets.
Originally formed at Farnborough as part of the Royal Flying Corps in 1918. No 4 Flight Training School is divided into two Squadrons; 208(R) Squadron provides advanced flying training and tactical weapons training on the Hawk T1.
And 4(R) Squadron provides all training for all RAF and RN students using the modern Hawk T2.
HM Coastguard and Rescue
RAF Valley was the former home and headquarters of 22 Squadron “C Flight” this arm of the RAF dealt with Search and Rescue.
The much loved, (and not just by aviation enthusiasts) Yellow Sea king helicopter based at RAF Valley was a very familiar sight flying in the skies above and around Anglesey.
Unfortuanately in October 2015 the RAF Search and Rescue Squadron were relieved of their responsibility and a new contract led operation which is run by Bristow Helicopters was set up and now runs from the not too distant Caernarfon Airport.
Former Gate Guardian at RAF Valley
For 20 years now RAF Valley has had the Hawker Hunter T8 WV396 as its gate guardian.
The Hunter aircraft is now going to a new home, but still on the Isle of Anglesey. This iconic aircraft has now gone to Tacla Taid, the Anglesey Transport Museum.
In 2018 this was replaced with a new more modern gate guardian, the Hawk T1
Anglesey Airport is located next to RAF Valley and is less than two miles from the A55 Expressway.
Flights to Cardiff operate twice daily on Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays and RAF Christmas / New Year shutdown dates) and the operational hours for Anglesey Airport is 07:30 to 10:30 and 15:00 to 18:00 Monday to Friday.
Scheduled flight take around an hour offering a huge saving in time as opposed to travelling by car or train. If booked a little in advance a return ticket can be purchased for as little as £20.00
The service is currently operated by Flybe, who is under contract to the Welsh Government. The telephone number for Anglesey Airport is 01407 878056 and the Sat Nav post code is LL65 3NX. For details of times and to book flights between Anglesey and Cardiff please go to Flybe.com